Last week, FoodCycle HQ took part in our ‘A Week Less Wasted’ Challenge. For this, we pledged not to waste any edible food for a week – no leaves, no seeds, no nothing. Anything we did waste we kept a record of, before composting it. Here is how we got on.
A Week Less Wasted made me more inventive with my leftover food to make sure it was all used up before going off. I tried to plan my meals a little better to ensure I was using what was in my fridge before buying anything new. I found taking a “Shelfie” before heading to the shops was a quick and easy way to keep track of what I already had in.
With some leftover fruit which had seen better days, I baked a banana bread, which I shared. Sharing food always feels great and this challenge encouraged me to do so to prevent it from going to waste. What’s more, I have some meals in the freezer for a rainy day.
A Week Less Wasted was a great opportunity to learn tips and tricks, try new recipes and share meals.
I always thought I was very good at not wasting any food, but when this challenge came round I realised how often I let leaves or herbs go off in the back of my fridge. This challenge helped to focus my mind and plan my meals much more thoroughly. I found batch cooking was the most useful way of using everything up, so I cooked up a big vegetable chilli and enjoyed it for a few lunches and dinners. I also made a butternut squash soup and roasted the seeds with some delicious spices which made a great mid-morning snack. On the weekend I had some celery left, so I steamed it to add some greens to my veggie sausage and mash – yum!
A Week Less Wasted really helped me recognise a couple of food waste bad habits I have and how to improve them. Usually, to make sure I don’t waste food, I only ever buy what I’m sure I’m going to eat. Throughout the week I realised that I needed to keep an eye on my portion sizes and to make sure I was eating all of my leftovers while they were still nice and tasty so I didn’t end up with small amounts that I had to throw away.
As I was going on holiday for a week after A Week Less Wasted, I made a big roasting tin of vegetables I knew wouldn’t last until I was back and ate them with goats cheese or as an accompaniment to another meal. I also froze an unopened package of mushrooms to keep them fresh, took my last few tomatoes with as a snack on the train and donated two eggs to my housemate’s breakfast to make sure nothing was wasted in my absence. The challenge really made me consider my habits and will have a lasting effect.
Want to get involved? There is still time to have A Week Less Wasted and raise money for FoodCycle.